France’s Société des Réalisateurs de Films, the body that oversees the Cannes Film Festival’s parallel Directors’ Fortnight section, has named Paolo Moretti to succeed outgoing Edouard Waintrop as artistic/executive director. Waintrop is due to end his run at the helm after this year’s 50th edition of the section with Moretti taking up his functions in November to curate his first lineup for 2019.

Moretti has big shoes to fill. Waintrop’s departure was made public last November. He joined in 2012 and had an impactful run, strengthening and reinvigorating the offerings, routinely snagging films by Competition-ordained filmmakers. In 2016, he was a Deadline One to Watch.

The SRF says it went through a three-stage recruitment process with the board electing Moretti to the post. The Italian-born film expert was most recently Executive Officer of the International Film Festival of La Roche-sur-Yon and ran that Loire town’s Concorde cinema.

His previous posts include stints at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, la Filmoteca Española in Madrid, the Leeds International Film Festival, the Portuguese Cinematheque in Lisbon, One World in Prague and the Cinéma du Réel festival.

From 2008 to 2011, he was deputy director and programming consultant at the Venice Film Festival, notably working with the Horizons section. In 2012 and 2013, Moretti consulted for the Rome Film Festival and has been since 2012 on the selection committee for the FIDMarseille international fest and a programmer of the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon, Switzerland.

The Fortnight has become a real alternative to the Competition, last year including such titles as Sean Baker’s The Florida Project. Other recent titles have included eventual Oscar nominees Mustang, My Life As A Zucchini and Whiplash.